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tv   ABC World News With David Muir  ABC  December 16, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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to her mom when she got outside, was, mommy, i'm okay, but all of my friends are dead. >> the clearest picture yet of the shooter's path inside that school, what ended his rampage and the staggering numbers on guns in america. more gun sellers than mcdonalds. are there solutions? tonight the one thing to reassure your children before they go back to school tomorrow. "world news" begins now. good evening, on this sunday night from newtown, connecticut. we are here tonight in front of the newtown high school where an entire community is coming together. the families of the victims, the survivors too, and they are gathering here tonight to hear from president obama, who is here now at the school right now. tonight in his role has comforter in chief as a father himself, helping to heal a nation in mourning. he is speaking with the families
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at this hour and around this country tonight, outside philadelphia, a vigil for the victims. in washington, d.c., remembering them with song, holding candles against the night. at a church in detroit, keeping the children, the teachers, in their prayers. and on television today, nfl players, like the teams in the new orleans superdome offering a moment of silence. and this evening a new image of the gunman, adam lanza in a sixth grade yearbook picture years before he would take the lives of 12 little girls, eight little boys and the six women who taught and guided them. our ern tire -- entire abc news team is on the grounds tonight and we begin with the portraits of the lives lost. ♪ this is an abc news special report. tragedy at sandy hook. >> good evening to all of you,
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i'm diane sawyer, here with george stephanopoulos at abc htd quarters in new york and we sboin you on the air this sunday night because the people of newtown, connecticut are holding a vigil and president obama is about to speak. he is in the auditorium at the ne newtown high school, about a mile from where so many lost their lives. >> the president landed earlier today. four times now as president he's had this somber task. this may be the most wrenching one, we saw the president get choked up talking about this on friday. we should advise everyone at home this could be difficult for young family members to watch. >> the president has always said the hardest and most important thing he does is try to fill a hole in the hearts of those suffering with words. i want to go to david muir outside the high school right now in rainy somber newtown.
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>> really appropriate, in fact, a rainy cold night here in a town that needed the president to come, in his role as comforter in chief. as a father himself, i can tell you he met with the families of the victims here before going to the auditorium. the high school is behind me and it's full. before the president walked in, there was a pause in that room. when we saw the images, we realized it was the first responders the community was thanking for all of their work in the first 24 to 48 hours afterwards. i can tell you from being here all weekend long that there are really two kinds of pain being felt here in this community. first, the families, the parents of those 20 children, the mothers and fathers whose children did not come home from school, out of that elementary school that day and their loss. then there's the pain of the community at large. still many mothers and fathers that i talk to say they feel a guilt because they're able to hold their child's hands, able to hug their children.
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one woman said to me, i drive to work every morning and see those faces on my way to work and i'm simply not sure, at the end of the driveways which faces i won't see. but when school begins here. it's been a very painful couple of days here and they are waiting to hear from this president. >> all right, david. we've been hearing from interfaith ministers, one of whom said we need to be here to weep and to remember, but to show we are together. and right now we're going to join the governor of the state, governor dan malloy, who will be introducing the president. >> we will in many ways be made stronger for whatever has transpired. and we will get better. we are blessed today to have with us the president of the united states, who, upon meeting with pat and i just a little while ago, said that the most difficult day of his presidency
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was friday, when he heard the news of that which had befallen this community. i assured him that connecticut, ne newtown, and sandy hook are strong and i welcomed him on your behalf to our community. i now introduce the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you.
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thank you, governor, to all the families, first responders, the community of newtown, clergy, gues guests. scripture tells us, do not lose heart. though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. the light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. what is seen is temporary. what is unseen is eternal.
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for we know that the earthly area we live in is destroyed, we have a house in god. the eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. we gather here in memory of 20 beautiful children and six remarkable adults. they lost their lives in a school that could have been any school, in a quiet town full of good and decent people that could be any town in america. here in newtown, i come to offer the love and prayers of the nati nation. i am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal
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your wounded hearts. i can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief. that our world, too, has been torn apart. that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. we've pulled our children tight. and you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide. whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear. newtown, you are not alone. as these difficult days have
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unfolded, you've also inspired us. the stories of strength and resolve and sacrifice. we know that when danger arrived in the halls of sandy hook elementary, the school's staff did not flinch. they did not hesitate. dawn hochsprung, mary sherlach, vicki soto, lauren rousseau, rachael davino, and anne marie murphy, they responded as we all hoped we might respond in such terrifying circumstances. with courage and with love.
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giving their lives to protect the children in their care. we know that there were other teachers who barricaded themselves inside classrooms and kept steady through it all. and reassured their students by saying wait for the good guys, they're coming, show me your smile. and we know the good guys came. the first responders who raced to the scene, helping to guide those in harm's way to safety and comfort those in need. holding at bay their own shock and their own trauma because they had a job to do and others needed them more. and then there were the scenes of the schoolchildren helping one another, holding each other,
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dutifully following instructions in the way that young children sometimes do. one child even trying to encourage a grown-up by saying, i know karate, so it's okay, i'll lead the way out. as a community, you've inspired us, newtown. in the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you looked out for each other. you cared for one another. and you've loved one another. this is how newtown will be remembered. and with time and god's grace,
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that love will see you through. but we as a nation, we are left with some hard questions. you know, someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time. walking around. with their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves, our child, is suddenly exposed to the world, possible mishap or malice. every parent knows there's nothing we will not do to shield
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our children from harm. and yet we also know that with that child's very first step and each step after that, they're separating from us. that we won't, that we can't always be there for them. they'll suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments. and we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear. and we know we can't do this by ourselves. it comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can't do it by
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yourself. that this job of keeping our children safe and teaching them well, is something we can only do together. with the help of friends and neighbors. with the help of a community. and the help of a nation. and in that way we come to realize that we bear responsibility for every child, because we're counting on everybody else to help look after ours. that we're all parents, that they're all our children. this is our first task, caring for our children. it's our first job. if we don't get that right, we don't get anything right.
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that's how, as a society, we will be judged. and by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we're meeting our obligations? can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? can we claim as a nation that we're altogether there, letting them know that they're loved, and teaching them to love in return? can we say that we're truly doing enough, to give all the children of this children the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?
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i've been reflecting on this the last few days. if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. we're not doing enough. and we will have to change. since i've been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings. fourth time we've hugged survivors, fourth time we've consoled the families of victims. and in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities, all across america, victims who much of the time their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong
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time. we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. and to end them, we must change. we will be told that the causes of such violence are complex and that is true. no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. but that can't be an excuse for inaction. surely we can do better than this. if there's even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that's visited tucson and aurora and oak creek
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and newtown, and communities from columbine to blacksburg before that. surely we have an obligation to try. in the coming weeks, i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. because what choice do we have? we can't accept events like this as routine. are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? that the politics are too hard? are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children
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year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom? in all the world's religions, so many of them represented here today, start with a simple question. why are we here? what gives our life meaning? what gives our acts purpose? we know that our time on this earth is fleeting. we know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain. that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it's wealth or power or fame or just simple comfort, we will in some
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fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. we know that no matter how good our intentions, we'll all stumble sometimes in some way. we'll make mistakes, we'll experience hardship, and even when we're trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness. so often unable to discern god's heavenly plans. there's only one thing we can be sure of. and that is the love that we have. for our children, for our families, for each other. the warmth of a small child's embrace, that is true. the memories we have of them,
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the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger, we know that's what matters. we know we're always doing right when we're taking care of them. when we're teaching them well. when we're showing acts of kindness. we don't go wrong when we do that. that's what we can be sure of. and that's what you, the people of newtown, have reminded us. that's how you've inspired us. you remind us what matters.
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that's what should drive us forward in everything we do. for as long as god sees fit to keep us on this earth. let the little children come to me, jesus said, and do not hinder them. for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. charlotte, daniel, olivia, josephine, ana, dylan, madeleine, catherine, chase, jesse, james, grace, emilie,
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jack, noah, caroline, jessica, benjamin, avielle, allison. god has called them all home. for those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory. may god bless and keep those we've lost in his heavenly place. may he grace those we still have with his holy comfort, and may he bless and watch over this community and the united states of america. >> concluding his speech,
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clearly emotional president obama addressing the anwished community of newtown, connecticut, starting out by talking of their grief, saying do not lose heart, quoting the scripture, you are not grieving alone. but then turning to the hard questions. he said we will have to change, this cannot be tolerated anymore. >> this is the fourth time as president he's had to comfort a community after a mass shooting. he said we have to make a country worthy of a memory of all the children's names he read at the close of that prayer. you talk about emotion. you could hear those sobs in the crowd today as the president talked about the heroism of the adults in that school as well. >> some of the little babies in the room cried as well, reminding everyone of the incredible small children who were lost. we thank you for joining us right now and we return you to your regular programming, but we want you to know that all week
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long here at abc news, we'll be asking tough questions about how we move forward, the tragedy at sandy hook, the search for solutions, all week here at abc news. >> beginning tomorrow morning with a special edition of "good morning america." >> until then, from all of us at abs news, thank you for joining us and to you and your families, goodnight. ♪ ♪ >> this has been a special report from abc news.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> and that is "world news" for this sunday night. all this week, a national conversation right here on abc news about guns, about mental illness, is it time that we can do something as a nation together? politics aside. tragedy at sandy hook, the search for solutions. "good morning america" broadcasting from newtown, connecticut. for all of us here at abc news. i'm david muir. thank you for watching. have a good evening. goodnight. ♪
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>> ama: next at 6:00, an emotional gareth tonight as thousands gathered to mourn the victims victims of friday's massacre. we're live in connecticut tonight where we speak with friends of the victims. a fiery accident near the caldecott tunnel is affecting traffic right now. abc-7 news at 6:00 begins now. i am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depth of
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your sorrow. >> ama: the president pays tribute to the victims and heroes tonight in connecticut. i'm ama daetz. we begin with an emotional public memorial service in newtown, connecticut. these are picture us of that service. this is a live look right now. members of the community stunned by the shocking death office 20 children and seven adults, packed the high school. [applause] >> earlier, grope -- grown men cried as they embraced the first responders. shortly before the service began president obama slipped into the high school and he asked if the nation has done enough to protect the children. >> are you really prepared to say we're powerless in the face of such carnage? that the politics are too hard? >> ama: the president did not speak about gu
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